(Recasts lead; Adds comments, details)
TAIPEI, March 20 (Reuters) - Cathay Financial Holding Co Ltd , Taiwan's biggest privately run financial holding firm by assets, said on Monday it plans to raise up to T$35 billion ($1.15 billion) in the first half of 2017 amid concerns of rate hikes and volatility in global markets this year.
The plan to raise capital by issuing subordinated debts comes as Cathay anticipates global market volatility and interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this year.
"We hope to strengthen our capital ahead of the rate hikes," Cathay Financial President C.K. Lee told reporters on the sidelines of an investors' conference.
"There will be several elections in European countries this year. We expect financial markets to be volatile," Lee added.
The company's life insurance arm, Cathay Life Insurance, is the biggest insurer in Taiwan with about T$5 trillion invested in local and overseas markets.
Earlier this month, the company said it is in exclusive talks to acquire the Malaysian unit of Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia in a deal that could be valued at about $200 million to $300 million.
Cathay is also a stake investor in Indonesia's Bank Mayapada International and the Philippines' Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), holding stakes of 40 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively.
Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sherry Jacob-Phillips